Welcome to the delightful world of Bulgarian cuisine, where tradition and taste come together to create culinary masterpieces. In this culinary journey, we explore the rich and sweet tradition of making Kozunak, a beloved Easter bread that has been a staple in Bulgarian homes for generations.

Kozunak, also known as Bulgarian Easter Bread, is a soft, sweet bread enriched with eggs, butter, and milk, making it a symbol of prosperity and joy during the Easter festivities. This delectable treat is not just a culinary delight but also a cultural emblem, embodying the warmth and togetherness of family gatherings.

In this recipe, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of creating your own homemade Kozunak. So, gather your ingredients, embrace the spirit of Bulgarian hospitality, and let's embark on a culinary adventure that promises to fill your kitchen with the irresistible aroma of freshly baked Kozunak.


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 lemon or orange
  • 1/2 cup raisins or chopped nuts (optional)
  • Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)


Activate the Yeast: In a small bowl, combine the warm milk with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over the mixture and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes until it becomes foamy.

Prepare the Dough: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, melted butter, remaining sugar, vanilla extract, and citrus zest. Pour the yeast mixture into the egg mixture and stir to combine.

Knead the Dough: Gradually add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture, stirring continuously until a dough forms. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 10-15 minutes or until it becomes smooth and elastic. If using, incorporate raisins or chopped nuts during the kneading process.

First Rise: Place the kneaded dough in a greased bowl, cover it with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours or until it has doubled in size.

Shape the Kozunak: Punch down the risen dough and divide it into three equal parts. Roll each part into a long rope and braid them together. Place the braided dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Second Rise: Cover the braided dough with a towel and let it rise for an additional 30-60 minutes, or until it puffs up.

Bake: Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Bake the Kozunak for 30-40 minutes or until it turns golden brown. You can test for doneness by tapping the bottom of the bread – it should sound hollow.

Cool and Serve: Allow the Kozunak to cool on a wire rack. Once cooled, you can dust it with powdered sugar if desired. Slice and enjoy this sweet, braided bread with family and friends, embracing the Easter tradition of Bulgaria.

Now, you have a delicious homemade Bulgarian Kozunak to share and savor during your festive celebrations!

Nutritional Values

Nutritional values can vary based on specific brands and product variations, so the following values are approximate and based on standard nutritional information:

All-Purpose Flour (4 cups):

  • Calories: 1600 kcal
  • Protein: 32g
  • Carbohydrates: 336g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Fiber: 12g


  • Provides a significant source of carbohydrates for energy.
  • Contains a moderate amount of protein, supporting muscle function.

Warm Milk (1 cup):

  • Calories: 80 kcal
  • Protein: 8g
  • Carbohydrates: 12g
  • Fat: 0g


  • Excellent source of calcium, promoting bone health.
  • Contains protein, essential for muscle development and repair.

Sugar (1 cup):

  • Calories: 770 kcal
  • Protein: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 200g
  • Fat: 0g


  • Quick source of energy due to its high carbohydrate content.
  • Adds sweetness to the recipe, enhancing flavor.

Unsalted Butter, melted (1 cup):

  • Calories: 1628 kcal
  • Protein: 2g
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fat: 184g


  • Rich source of fat, providing long-lasting energy.
  • Enhances the texture and flavor of the Kozunak.

Large Eggs (4):

  • Calories: 320 kcal
  • Protein: 28g
  • Carbohydrates: 4g
  • Fat: 20g


  • Excellent source of high-quality protein for muscle health.
  • Contributes to the structure and moisture of the bread.

Active Dry Yeast (1 tablespoon):

  • Calories: 23 kcal
  • Protein: 3g
  • Carbohydrates: 3g
  • Fat: 0g


  • Facilitates the leavening process, causing the dough to rise.
  • Contains B vitamins, supporting metabolism.

Salt (1 teaspoon):

  • Calories: 0 kcal
  • Protein: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fat: 0g


  • Enhances flavor and balances sweetness.
  • Regulates the fermentation process.

Vanilla Extract (1 teaspoon):

  • Calories: 12 kcal
  • Protein: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 0.6g
  • Fat: 0g


  • Adds a pleasant aroma and flavor to the Kozunak.
  • Antioxidant properties may have health benefits.

Zest of 1 Lemon or Orange:

  • Calories: 5 kcal
  • Protein: 0.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 1.5g
  • Fat: 0g


  • Provides citrus flavor, adding brightness to the bread.
  • Contains essential oils with potential health benefits.

Raisins or Chopped Nuts (1/2 cup):

  • Calories: Varies based on the specific type of nuts or raisins used. For example, 1/2 cup of raisins is approximately 217 kcal.


  • Adds texture and flavor variation.
  • Nuts provide healthy fats, protein, and various vitamins.

Powdered Sugar for Dusting (optional):

  • Calories: Varies based on the amount used. For example, 1 tablespoon is approximately 30 kcal.


  • Adds a decorative touch to the Kozunak.
  • Enhances sweetness without altering the bread's structure.

These values provide a general idea of the nutritional content in the ingredients. Keep in mind that the actual values may differ based on the specific brands and quantities used in your recipe.


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